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I was getting new brakes on my 95 Mustang GT and started to wonder a little about my Elise. Brakes on my 3,000+ pound Mustang seem to last 30,000-40,000 miles but I seem to hear about people who are getting far less on our sub 2,000 pound car. I do understand that how you drive is a critical factor and those who track would get far, far less – but what about normal street driving? Is there any reason I should not expect similar or better mileage on the Elise brakes? I am sure the answer will be “yes” but would like to know thoughts on why?
 

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I live on a steep hill. My pads only lasted about 15,000 miles, the same as my clutch.

Both should last much longer, but they didn't.

Look at your pads every so often to see how they're holding up.

If your clutch starts to go, you'll know it because you'll accelerate and have no power.

(There is also a "panic" factor involved in a car as small as ours that means you will jam on the clutch/brakes far more often to avoid curbs, rocks, other cars, etc.)
 

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Mulholland>SCC
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I have 21,000 miles on mine so far...
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks! Based on my heavy Mustang and the weight of the Elise, if driven with similar style I am wondering what would stop me from getting 40K.
 

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I was getting new brakes on my 95 Mustang GT and started to wonder a little about my Elise. Brakes on my 3,000+ pound Mustang seem to last 30,000-40,000 miles but I seem to hear about people who are getting far less on our sub 2,000 pound car. I do understand that how you drive is a critical factor and those who track would get far, far less – but what about normal street driving? Is there any reason I should not expect similar or better mileage on the Elise brakes? I am sure the answer will be “yes” but would like to know thoughts on why?
For what it's worth...

One thing that can quickly shorten the life a brake pads is the slotted and/or cross drilled rotors. My experience is that they tend to grind away the pad much quicker that a plain rotor.

Some background, I had a car that had a tendency to warp the front rotors (from overheating). I cured the problem by installing cross drilled rotors (no more warping). Then I moved to a Mountain resort town (Running Springs for those of you in Southern California). My daily commute up and down the twisty mountain roads was about 20 miles each way. I would wear through a set of brake pads every 2 to 3 months (around a 1,000 miles - but pretty harsh conditions). After about the third set of pads, I switched back to stock rotors, and the pads lasted about a year (then I moved, so I don't know exactly how long they would have lasted). The only difference was the cross drilling.

I suspect that the cross drilled rotors on the Elise tend to be harsh on the pads. Good for the braking, but had on the pads...
 
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